Car & Concept

1999 Honda Civic Si Review | Retro first drive

This will not be one of those “meet your heroes” types of retro car reviews. There was no poster of a 1999 Honda Civic Si on my wall, and it certainly wasn’t on the shortlist (or even long one) of contenders for my first car. Yet, with a closet full of car magazines and a drivers’ license about to be acquired, I do quite vividly remember the Civic Si coming out and the rave reviews it received. And frankly, I didn’t get it. It had only 160 horsepower, the interior of any old Civic, and I distinctly remember thinking the omission of ABS was absurd. Admittedly, the Electron Blue Pearl paint was pretty cool.

Smash cut to 21 years later, and there’s a ’99 Civic Si in my driveway, looking exactly like the ones that graced those car

2021 Kia K5 First Drive | Driving impressions, specifications, pricing

Despite the sedan market continuing to lose market share to crossovers and SUVs every year, it’s still a segment that sells millions of units a year. It’s also one of the most hotly contested segments with strong offerings from Honda, Toyota and Mazda among others, which means it’s hard to stand out. But the 2021 Kia K5 aims to do exactly that. It discards the long-running Optima nameplate for the model’s Korean-market alphanumeric designation, and adopts the most dramatic styling Kia has ever used on a midsize sedan. Kia has coupled that with a stylish, quality interior, and a driving experience that is exceedingly comfortable. It’s not particularly engaging to drive, which prevents it from being the segment’s best, but it’s a strong competitor that’s worth your consideration.

Like the K5’s Optima predecessor, the K5 is mechanically

The Sony Vision-S Concept car will enter road testing this year

Apparently the Sony Vision-S Concept car’s story isn’t over yet. Sony made a big splash at CES in January this year with its fully operational electric car, but the company made it clear that it had no intentions of turning this concept into a production vehicle. Since then, we haven’t heard a peep out of Sony about the car.

That changes today, as Sony just announced the car’s return to Tokyo, via a pretty YouTube video. Two sentences of additional information were provided: “Vision-S Prototype has arrived in Tokyo for advancing our sensing and audio technologies. The prototype vehicle is also currently under development for public road testing this fiscal year.”

The first part makes some sense. Sony said that the whole reason for building this concept was to show off its technology to automotive manufacturers. Now that Sony

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review | First Drive, pictures, roof, performance

The azure waters of the French Riviera are set ablaze by the setting sun as a cool breeze wafts in from the Mediterranean. The warm breath from the neck-level heaters commendably compensate. The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible turns inland, the road winding through the rocky terrain like an ebony ribbon. A stunning blonde in a vintage Ferrari waves as she passes by; a man resembling Pierce Brosnan, but richer, gives a thumbs up.

I’m sure someone is having this experience during their first drive of the new LC Convertible, but it sure isn’t me. I’m in Scappoose, Oregon, which is as picturesque as it sounds. It’s raining. Hard. An old woman in a Subaru pulls out of the Dutch Bros. So yeah, this won’t exactly be a romantic tale of car and locale meeting on equal terms

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e First Drive | Photos, electric range, specs, impressions

No BMW sells better in the United States than the X3. The model has been around for a long time at this point (since 2003), straddling the line between sporty and utilitarian in a luxurious BMW package. From a longevity and popularity standpoint, it’s the RAV4 of luxury compact crossovers. And just like the RAV4 did this year, the X3 is adding a plug-in hybrid variant.

The new crossover’s full name is the 2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e (we know, how compelling). Other than the powertrain, it’s largely similar to every other X3 variant. Most won’t even notice it’s the plug-in hybrid until they see the charge flap on the driver-side front fender, or the tiny 30e badge on the hatch. There’s no glowing blue kidney grille or overt hybrid badge. It’s clean, simple and blends in.

BMW

Tesla Model Y Review | Price, features, specs, performance

The Tesla Model 3 isn’t just the planet’s best-selling EV. It’s a world dominator of Marvel proportions, whose 300,000 global sales in 2019 were nearly three times as many as China’s BAIC EU-Series sedan, and more than four times as many as the Nissan Leaf.

The recipe for the Tesla Model Y, then, is simple. Start with that Model 3 sedan. Reshape it into a roomier crossover-like body with the commanding views and standard all-wheel-drive that are catnip to not just Americans, but increasingly global buyers. It seems like a safe bet that the Model Y will, as Elon Musk predicted, supplant the Model 3 as the world’s most popular EV.

The race among electric SUVs might be more interesting if the Model Y faced serious competition. But it doesn’t. Compared to would-be rivals — the Audi